Dan Vs.

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Dan Vs. TV Poster Image
Comedy's angry, vengeful messages make it iffy for kids.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 50 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show makes light of Dan’s obsessive quest for revenge against those responsible for small offenses like scratching his car, and some of the stories have violent ends that result in the implied deaths of those responsible, as well as innocent bystanders. Violence and destruction are seen as a reasonable means to an end for minor offenses. Potty humor includes references to peeing.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dan is hotheaded, vengeful, and viciously unkind to those around him, and he bullies everyone he meets, including his mild-mannered best friend. Despite bearing the brunt of Dan’s rants, Chris continues to lend a hand in his friend’s illogical plans and often gets hurt (either physically or emotionally, intentionally or accidentally) in the course of action. Chris’ wife, Elise, is level-headed and sees how Dan takes advantage of her husband, but even she’s usually willing to go along with his plan.


Fistfights, car accidents, mock strangulation, and weaponry (guns, swords, etc.) are common, and sometimes people are shown injured. It's often implied that people are killed as a result of Dan’s rampages, but there’s no blood or gore.


Female characters are shown in tight, revealing clothing and playing up their sex appeal for attention or to get something they want.


No cursing, but there’s a constant stream of other marginal language from Dan, including "jerk," "stupid," "heck," and "shut up." He’s also prone to calling people names and making verbal threats.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this cartoon isn't intended for kids or tweens, and its unsavory messages about bullying and violence are good reason to keep teens away as well. The show’s plot glorifies a bitter character’s quest for revenge against the people he thinks have wronged him, and his thirst for "justice" often prompts a violence including guns, fistfights, and the like. Death is implied rather than shown, but that doesn’t make it any less disturbing when the victims include innocent bystanders of Dan’s unreasonable rants. Language is limited to marginal cursing like “heck” and name-calling like “stupid” and “jerk,” but the sheer abundance of it is iffy enough to give parents yet another cause for concern.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDoting Dad July 1, 2015

Common Sense Media needs some common sense

The person who reviewed this show is incompetent. She condemns Dan VS, a genuinely smart, funny, original show that doesn't talk down to kids either in co... Continue reading
Adult Written byevviefoxx January 10, 2012

Just have fun with it

I am twenty-three years old and I have watched 'iffy' cartoons all of my life. Growing up in the 90's it was hard not to. I grew up watching the... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 9, 2021

Best for teens

The stuff in this like an angry man & messages about bullying are iffy for kids so they’re out & I don’t know why it was a good idea to keeps te... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bycysgod April 21, 2021

great show!!

this show doesn't have anything too mature, but a lot of the jokes/attitudes would not be relatable or understandable for younger kids. if i would've... Continue reading

What's the story?

Not-so-loveable loser Dan (voiced by Curtis Armstrong) has a bone to pick with, well, everyone. Petty grievances like a broken window or a scratch on his car send him over the edge, and he’s got big plans for getting back at those responsible for his inconvenience. When the inevitable happens, he calls on his best friend, Chris (Dave Foley), who’s easily persuaded to chauffeur him to his date with revenge. Often the duo are accompanied by Chris’s wife, Elise (Paget Brewster), who tries to be a voice of reason -- until she’s bitten by the revenge bug as well.

Is it any good?

Let’s get this straight: This is not a cartoon for kids or tweens, and teens mature enough to not be influenced by its horrendous messages probably won’t be interested in it to begin with. Were Dan a real person, there would be ample reason to question his sanity, since his bitter, antisocial behavior borders on clinical paranoia and causes him to justify violence as a means for dealing with it.

The fact that Dan resorts to punching, strangling, and verbal threats to deal with people who bother him -- all of which is played for humor throughout the show -- should be enough reason for parents to nix it as an option for impressionable teens. Dan’s relationship with his best friend is perhaps the most disturbing part of all, since he subjects Chris to harsh physical, verbal, and emotional bullying. While there’s no outright cursing or sex, innuendo, verbal threats, and name-calling reach a fevered pitch, giving you plenty of reasons to keep your kids away.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bullying. What are some forms bullying can take? How does verbal bullying differ from physical bullying? Is one any less harmful than the other? Have you ever witnessed a bully in action? What did you do?

  • What messages does this show send about responsible behavior? Is it appropriate for teens to watch? Do you think it’s likely that its content could influence  viewers who have their own grievances?

  • What is the purpose of making this series -- which clearly is geared toward older viewers -- a cartoon? Would it be less funny in live action? Does animation allow the show’s creators to take liberties that wouldn’t be allowable otherwise? If so, what?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love offbeat media

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